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article imageMass identification fraud committed as Pakistanis become "Syrian"

By Adrian Peel     Sep 7, 2015 in Politics
As the European Migrant Crisis deepens, authorities have discovered that not all Syrian refugees now seeking a new life in Europe are from the war-ravaged country.
As Europe struggles to deal with its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, a number of fiercely determined travellers from a variety of countries in search of a better life are discarding their official identities in Serbia, only metres away from the Hungarian border, and claiming to be Syrian in a desperate attempt to gain entry into the European Union.
It seems to be the firm belief of those who do not hail from the war-torn nation — and who will stop at nothing to reach western Europe — that having a fake ID, or no ID at all, gives them a much better chance of receiving asylum. As a result, passports and other forms of official identification have been found scattered in fields and bushes near the aforementioned border.
According to the Serbian border police, approximately 3,000 people a day (90 percent) who are coming in from Macedonia (the country they pass through on the way to Serbia) claim to be from Syria, but have no way of proving it. Hungary is considered the gateway to the European Union and is just one stop on a long and perilous journey for the migrants whose first port of call after leaving their homelands is usually Turkey.
"You can see that something is fishy when most of those who cross into Serbia enter January first as the date of their birth," observed border policeman Miroslav Jovic. "Guess that’s the first date that comes to their mind."
Last week, the BBC reported that German police had seized packages containing fake Syrian passports, passports they believed were being sold illegally to would-be asylum seekers.
Germany has been granting asylum to anybody escaping the ongoing conflict in Syria, in spite of the official EU stance on the issue which states that all asylum claims must be processed in the country a person hoping to follow this procedure arrives in first.
Unsurprisingly it remains the intended destination for thousands of refugees fleeing civil unrest and extreme poverty.
Fabrice Leggeri, head of Frontex, the European Union border agency, believes that the trafficking of fake Syrian documents has increased. "A lot of people enter Turkey with fake Syrian papers because they know that they'll get asylum in the EU more easily," he said.
For more on the European Migrant Crisis, go here.
More about syrian conflict, Pakistan, ID fraud, European union, Hungary
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